Being part of a strong team is better than traversing your sport alone.
The reason hockey players converge angrily on the net and knock each other around after a whistle is because they refuse to let their teammates stand up to pressure alone.
It’s the same reason teammates stick up for one another off the ice or away from the pool.
A team that cares about each other wins for each other.
Swimming is an exercise, a sport, a past-time. Whether you’re a dedicated swimmer or an athlete in another sport, taking a twirl in a pool will help build your team.
When you introduce an element like water it forces everyone to practice the same way. This puts everyone on the team at the same level, the same launching point. The coach delivers the same curriculum and everyone faces the same challenges.
After that, natural skill and strength will literally rise to the top. The only emotion at this point will be appreciation for the positive attributes each individual brings to the team.
“Encourage each swimmer to congratulate each other for even the smallest things.”
- Emma at Simply Swim
Full-time swimmers have known this for years: facing challenges in a new underwater world forces people to confront their fears. Water isn’t our natural habitat so plunging fully into the sport takes a type of commitment that’s different from the type of commitment required by soccer, hockey or volleyball.
When it comes to equipment, swimming is also basically the polar opposite of hockey or football. Self-consciousness reigns supreme in junior high schools all over the world, body images are twisted in the minds of young women and young men, but swimming is a tool that knocks down those mental hurdles so we can all agree that yes, we all have bodies, and yes, they’re all different.
The mark of a great team is one that supports every member no matter what.
Swimming isn’t a natural process like walking, talking or even eating. These are all tasks we’ve been forced to learn our entire lives. Running is just a faster way to walk - this is something most of us are fortunate enough to practice every day.
This isn’t the case with swimming. Swimming is about fighting the resistance of the water to an efficient enough point that you move faster.
Why is this an important aspect of teambuilding?
Because teambuilding is still dependant on individual contributions. In a supportive team and a safe environment an individual will be more eager to contribute. This means maximizing good habits and cutting down on bad habits in order to make the team better.
Swimming teaches athletes to execute when the heat is on. Every aspect of swimming is magnified because of the element of water, so every habit is reinforced consistently. Swimming teaches athletes to contribute to a group, a life-skill that we all know becomes more and more valuable the older we get and the further we’re distanced from a glorious career as a professional youth athlete.
Knowing you’ve got a strong team behind you, encouraging you and pushing you toward individual success makes a rising tide that much easier to navigate on a stormy day.